Home Blessings with Holy Water on Theophany

Preparing the Home for the Blessing

The pastor visits the homes of all his parishioners on Theophany and the days shortly following.

Why?

How should one make ready for this visit?

It is a long-standing tradition in Holy Orthodoxy that the homes of all the faithful be blessed yearly, after the blessed feast of Theophany.

The power of water to sanctify and transform is amply demonstrated in baptism, and we believe that God chooses to bless us through holy objects and actions, such as the relics of those who have pleased God, holy icons, oil and water.

The majority of the critical portions of life of the family is lived in the home. In the home we pray together, the parents MUST teach the children about the Holy Orthodox Faith, and the foundational principles for living according to the Gospel and Commandments are modeled by the parents for their children.

Since so much important Christian work takes place in the home, there are also great temptations, with misunderstandings and arguments possible. It is imperative for the Christian family to continually ask God's blessing upon their home, and to have their home blessed with Holy Water at least yearly. If something extremely defiling occurs in the home, or the family is enduring some great temptation, the home can be blessed at any time, and even numerous times.

When the priest arrives, he usually prays a short service of supplication and then blesses all living areas of the house with Holy Water, while singing the Troparion for Theophany. In this way, the home of a Christian is "marked" and sanctified.

Preparing the Home for the Blessing

The family must ALL be present before the priest arrives. The priest will pray for the family and with the family, but NOT INSTEADOF the family!

All rooms will be blessed except for the bathrooms. They should be neat and clean. You are inviting God into your home - it would not do to invite Him into a pigsty! Make sure a light is on in all rooms, and the door is open.

All radios, TVs, video games, etc should be turned off.

In a prominent area of the home (which should be the families icon corner), a small table should be set up, and set up at follows:

  • A list of the first names of the family members should be provided, so the priest can commemorate them in the supplication service. The Living and the Deceased should be on separate lists, or in separate columns.
  • A Candle should be burning on the table.
  • If the family has a home censer, it can be lit, with incense ready to be added.
  • If the family has a favorite Theophany Icon, it should be placed on the table, preferably standing up. This may be easily accomplished if the table is against a wall, or by placing the icon in an inexpensive "plate holder". Alternatively, the icon may be hung on the wall.
  • A wide bowl for the Holy Water should be on the table. The priest will bring the Holy water and Kropilla (the brush used to distribute the Holy Water). It is beast to have a bowl dedicated for this purpose, and not used for other purposes. the priest may also bring a bowl with him, but it is important to check with him, and not make too many assumptions!

When the priest arrives the whole family should gather together with him, and sing the proper responses and sing with him the Theophany Troparion. When the time come for the house to be blessed with the water, someone ion the family should lead the priest with a lit candle throughout the house, and the rest of the family should follow, singing the Troparion.

Troparion of the Theophany - Tone 1

When Thou wast baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, / the worship of the Trinity made its appearance./ For the voice of the Father bore witness to Thee/ when He called Thee His beloved Son./ And the Spirit in the form of a dove/ confirmed the truth of the word./ O Christ our God, Who hast appeared and hast enlightened the world,/ glory to Thee!





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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas